The ‘Pompey boy’ destined for the game’s pinnacle

Portsmouth-born Mason Mount. Picture: PA
Portsmouth-born Mason Mount. Picture: PA
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The chat about Mason Mount isn’t anything new - but is now reaching a crescendo.

And with good reason, too, as the clamour grows for the self-proclaimed ‘Pompey boy’ to be elevated to the England squad.

Such talk may be a tad premature, but is cast-iron evidence of the hurtling progress being made by the 19-year-old.

Furthermore, there’s little doubt that is where the former Purbrook Park School pupil is headed if he continues along the axis he’s flying up.

The teenager threw himself firmly further into the public consciousness on Tuesday night, as he played a central role in heaping more pressure on Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

The son of former Havant Town and Newport boss, Tony Mount, was a key figure in the Derby side who triumphed on penalties at Old Trafford on a dramatic Carabao Cup night.

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has taken Mount to Pride Park from his Stamford Bridge parent club, intensifying the focus on the midfielder with the parallels easy to make.

Although gratifying, the comparisons serve to heap pressure on the slender shoulders of the former United Services player.

But the compelling evidence so far is Mount is made of the stern stuff needed to take it all in his stride and indeed thrive under the microscope.

That's long been instilled in him as a child of Portsmouth, as underlined in an interview last year with the FA.

'My dad always said to me growing up from young you’ve got to do the other side of the game,' Mount said. 'You can’t always be good on the ball, you’ve got to get back, get involved and make tackles.

'He always said: "You’re from Portsmouth, so you need to do that dirty side as well," so it’s always been inside me.'

The intelligence and quality of his performance against a strong United side was the latest exhibit forwarded by the teenager of the qualities he has to make it to the game's pinnacle.

That continued a flying start to his Championship season with the Rams which has seen him bag five strikes - the latest a free-kick his manager would have been proud of against Brentford at the weekend.

The fact, despite his tender years, Mount already has a year in the Eredivisie under his belt with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem speaks volumes.

Then his 14-goal return in that period elevates that achievement into the stratosphere along with the 10 assists, player-of-the-year plaudits and glowing reports.

Lampard’s faith in Mount speaks volumes and was underlined as he handed him the first penalty as the game went to a shootout - one which was dispatched ruthlessly.

That capped a display of efficiency and vision showcased in his passing which underlined the talent belongs on the highest stage, before his late shot paved the way for Jack Marriott to get his side’s second goal.

The cameras were trained on the Pompey fan on the final whistle and the social-media excitement among those with an eye on the international side’s future was apparent, as they anticipate Mount as an England fixture in years to come.

Blues fans will, of course, be disappointed they’ve never seen one of their own wearing the star and crescent on his chest.

The aim has to be the Mason Mounts of the future see Pompey as their most viable option of making the grade, as the club competes with the glistening academies who vie for the talent on their patch.

But there can also be a degree of pride felt at his emergence, especially with Mount’s eagerness to underline his connections with the city.

His recent statement at feeling grubby wearing a Southampton shirt in training as they pursued his signature as a child, will have only endeared the former season-ticket holder to his hometown club’s faithful further.

As does the fact it remains his dream to play at Fratton Park, despite Mount now being accustomed to some of the English game’s footballing cathedrals.

You get the feeling the day that happens he’ll be well received.